JA Control Panle

Peoples Daily

Home News Interviews Nigerian youths are part of the problem —Tarok Youth Leader

Nigerian youths are part of the problem —Tarok Youth Leader

E-mail Print PDF

Pirtim Andrew Bali, a banker and a unionist, is also the leader of the Tarok Youth Association. In this interviewwith Tobias Lengman Dapam, he blamed Nigerian youths for the current societal problems and gave reasons for his feelings.

Lets meet you sir,
My names are Pirtim Andrew Bali. I am the Leader of Ngwang Ishi Otarok (NIO)Facebook, a youth group movement on the internet. I also work with Diamond Bank in Abuja.
Sir, you were quoted somewhere, saying that the Nigerian youth is lost and blinded by material things. In essence what do you mean?
Certain realities in our context speak for themselves. It is no news that the Nigerian youth prefer to be a beggar. He is contented with begging as a profession and does not want to work for himself. In present Nigeria, the youths, instead of working hard to be the leaders that they ought to be or should be preparing to be, prefer to be instrument of destructions. They are used by politicians to anchor their grievances whenever they are in disfavour with certain policies. The waves of violence in the country is fuelled by the political class but executed by the youths, making the society to see the youths as gullible object of manipulation in the hand of few who control the economy of this country. The future of the youth is bleak, owing to their acceptance of the role that the politicians bestowed on them.
What category of youths you are referring to? We have those who have gone to school and are working hard to earn a living.
Let me tell you the truth, those who have gone to school are worst than the illiterates. These two categories of youths play different roles to the same people. Those you called literates, owing to their knowledge of the western education are cajoled with money, to be script writers, speech writers, secretaries and personal assistants on various affairs while those who were not privileged to attain western education help as political thugs to fuel violence and snatch ballot boxes during elections when the votes are not in favour of their lords.
In this analogy, you would see that the youths are used in various forms to achieve victory for their lords who just sit in one comfort zone and use his money to direct these classes of people to perform certain roles for him and execute it the way it pleases him.
Economic empowerment seems to be the reason for these whole problems. Should we attribute it to poverty?
One thing with Nigerians is that they have a perfect way of attributing their failures to something; someone must always take the blame. Poverty is an issue everywhere not only in Nigeria. But it is just that here so much emphasis is being laid on money. That is why you see people eschewing virtue for money. One other thing is that we are not patient, we don't want things to happen gradually, and we all want quick change. We want to make money at all cost so as to belong and join the class of other people. It is only in such environments that you see a lot of violence simply because we don't want to work and wait for the right time, where we can reap what we sow. It is also a known fact that these leaders know our short coming as youth in Nigeria. In other climes, the youths are drivers for change. We have seen it in Egypt and other neighbouring countries where the youths want the whole system to change for the entire people and not for the few privileged. Until we are able to put selfishness and greed aside we will not go anywhere.
Lets talk about your immediate community, as a youth leader, how have you been able to change these realities in to something better for the youths?
In my immediate community, we have device a platform to bring the people together, through a social network like face book, tweeter and other forms to communicate to them and set an agenda for discussion, which will connect all the youths in the community so as to be self reliant, to work for themselves and create other means of business instead of the unnecessary rural urban migration which will not benefit a lot of them. I discovered that people can make meaningful business in the village instead of migrating to cities for white collar jobs. We have a lot of economic trees in the village which can fetch them money. Recently, research has shown that the oil and seed produced from Moringa tree can cure over 250 ailments. There is a group that uses it on facebook and when you click like on it, you will get money that is to show you that people are making money from this business.
We have these trees in the village and our parents use it to fence their houses, imagine if we can exploit the economic importance of this tree and begin to engage these youths to hold on to themselves so as to be productive. We are already hatching a plan to buy the machine that will extract this oil. We have also been able to connect those in the rural areas with those in the cities, through a community programme that takes everyone home during festivity to communicate to them in the language, most especially some of our girls who feel they are more western than Americans. There is every need for cultural renaissance so as to inculcate the values in the people to first know where they are coming from and how they can help the society and bring about change. To engage everyone in this project, during Easter we organised a mountain climbing program and all the youths climbed the mountain. It was tiring, at some point you want to give up but someone said you are almost there, giving you the encouragement that you are almost there, you strive to catch up with the next person. I was tired myself but I can't let them down so I continued.
On the mountain, we invited motivational speakers to talk to us and encourage us to be self reliant so as not to keep depending on someone but yourself. We have also outlined some projects to be carried out in December. We are going to plant 5000 Moringa trees in Langtang North and South. We are also organising music show and competitions where talented youths into music will show case their Talents and the winners go home with prices. We have also planned to organised extra moral lessons for students in secondary schools. The NIO youths in different areas of specialisation will go to classrooms and teach. These and many more we want to do for ourselves. We want to contribute to the building of our society. We can make ourselves and not waiting for government or godfather somewhere.
Somebody said the youths in your area are proud because they feel they have prominent people from the area.
That is part of the idea of this movement. I told them to begin to look inward and see the potentials that they are made up of instead of calling names of prominent people like Jeremiah Useni, John Shagaya, Domkat Bali and others who have made names for themselves. We communicate to them the values of individualism and how they can be productive to themselves and the community. Most of them are realising this, that is why in my community there is massive awareness of the youths and I am happy to say there is a wind of transformation basking in the air; it is just a matter of time for the youths to reclaim their rightful place. That is how the wind of change began in other parts of the world and the history has always been the same. No one can do it for us if we don't do it for ourselves. I use to tell them that you can be a Shagaya or Useni of tomorrow. They also started from somewhere; so your destiny is in your hands to begin to work hard so you don't just constitute nuisance where the society will be tired of you but where the society will keep looking for you.
What would you like to tell Nigerian youths, most of whom have resort to violence as the only means of registering their grievances?
I will tell Nigerian youths to use the social network as an agent of transforming the ignorant ones, so that the youths will speak with one voice and elect leaders who would do the wish of the people and not those who steal election and turn their back on the people when it matter most. We should view ourselves as agents of change and we should not allow ourselves to be used as instruments of destruction, though one of Nigeria’s problems is that the weak are working while the energetic youths are in the street. Let's realise our problems and turn our energies into something better so that we will be agents of change and not nuisance.

Comments (1)Add Comment
written by Immanuel Nansoh, May 05, 2012
Articulate and exactly on point. We are the change we need and it has begun.Kudos my brother, for finding your purpose in this life and leading others to the same.

Write comment
smaller | bigger



WEEKEND  Nigeria, the stigma

WELLNESS ZONE  Benefits of a healthy diet

POTS 'N' PANS  How to make your own Pizza at home

ICT ESSENCE  Working healthy with computer (1)

GREEN PASTURES  Let God lead you


Find & Follows Us